THE 75TH anniversary of Hiroshima Day took place this week – on 6th August. Up to a quarter of a million people died as a result of two nuclear bombs which the US dropped on Japan in the Second World War. Despite that experience, nuclear weapons are still with us.
This week also saw a massive explosion in Beirut, which was estimated to have 20% of the force of the bomb dropped on Hiroshima. The death toll in Beirut is currently around 137 – with maybe 100 or so more people still missing. Around 4,000 people sought medical treatment for injuries, mostly caused by flying glass and bits of building dislodged by the blast.
The situation in Beirut, we can all agree, sounds horrific. Imagine how much worse it would have been if that had been a nuclear bomb. Thousands would have been killed. Thousands would have been injured by radioactive matter which would cause a lingering and painful death. It will be hard to rebuild Beirut – but it would have been impossible if the bomb had released radioactive material. That could have rendered the entire city a no-go area for years. The wind could have blown the nuclear fallout anywhere in the Middle East.
Our irrational world has not yet managed to end the threat of another Hiroshima. Over the weekend, the medical campaign Medact is promoting a number of short videos recorded by their members which can be used to spread the message: the harm which can be spread by nuclear weapons cannot be cured, so it must be prevented.
Dr Michael Orgel reflects on Hiroshima Day and its anti-nuclear message. Video, two minutes.
75th Anniversary of Hiroshima Day
Dr Judith McDonald talks about the time she spoke to a Japanese doctor who had tried to support the injured in Hiroshima.
Helping the injured
Dr Martin Hartog discusses what can be done to prevent nuclear bombs being used again.
Stop the threat
Dr Bimal Khadkar reflects on the Hiroshima bomb.
Hiroshima – the bomb
•For more information about Medact, and its wide range of campaigns on health-related issues, go to:
•For more information about commemorative events this weekend, go to:
Network for Peace